DA calls for alternative arrangements for cancer patients ahead of re-opening of Charlotte Maxeke hospital
DURBAN - THE DA's spokesperson on Health in Gauteng Jack Bloom, has called for urgent arrangements to be made for cancer patients following the devastating fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH).
Bloom said while they welcomed the announcement that patients would be taken back to the hospital next week, an alternative arrangement needed to be made for cancer patients.
"This is because the Radiation Oncology department is in the damaged section and will probably not re-open for patients for a number of months.
"Steve Biko Hospital in Tshwane is the only other hospital that does radiation treatment, but they are already stretched with patients," Bloom said.
He said lives will be put at risk if alternative arrangements are not made urgently for hundreds of CMJH cancer patients.
"The Gauteng Health Department should expand capacity by organising cancer radiation treatment at the available machines in the evenings and over weekends. They should also pay private hospitals to treat public patients for cancer," Bloom said.
He added that every effort should be made to speed up the repair of CMJH so that all specialist treatment can be resumed there as soon as possible.
The fire broke out at the Special Dispensary Stores and spread to various sections of the parking lot multi-storey structure, causing significant damage to the CMJAH building on April 16.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said more than R40 million worth of stock, largely personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essentials, burned during the blaze.